Winds Slowing Around the World, Study Suggests
Breeze-breaking new shrubs and trees may be to blame.
For the new study, published Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists analyzed nearly 30 years' worth of wind speed data collected from more than 800 land-based weather stations, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, where long-term wind-data collection has been most reliable.
The average annual surface wind speed in countries in mid-northern latitudes—including the United States, China, and Russia—had dropped by as much as 15 percent, from about 10.3 miles (17 kilometers) an hour to about 9 miles (14 kilometers) an hour, the study found.
Wind speeds in the Southern Hemisphere are probably slowing too, the team speculates. Winds in different parts of the world are coupled, so average wind speed can't decrease at one latitude but increase